Who discipled you? Who helped you become the person you are now?
I bet you can think of one particular person. Or maybe two.
Could have been a teacher, a pastor, a coach, a youth leader or a parent. Could be someone who didn’t’ even have an official role in some organization. Sometimes the best people to nurture and grow us are the peers/adult friends/fellow believers who encourage us and pray for us.
Maybe they meet you once in awhile for coffee or a meal and you talk about life and faith. Maybe it’s someone you work alongside in a job, ministry or project. In casual co-worker kind of times we often can mine some real gold from the people we’re working with.
I remember Mrs. Guthrie. I don’t even recall her first name. She was a short round English teacher in my grade 11 year. I didn’t really like English (Shakespeare, yuck) and wasn’t that motivated although I always did pretty well in school.
One morning I was having a bad day — it was school and morning so that was pretty typical. Mrs. Guthrie asked a question about the motivation of the protagonist in whatever Shakespearean play we were studying. And I, with unusual energy, said, “Oh, who cares!” aloud.
Mrs. Guthrie stopped and looked at me. (uh oh) I knew I was in trouble. She gave me a detention after school so we could “discuss who cares!”. Okayyyyyy, I got myself into this so I’d just have to deal with it after school. I liked Mrs. G and we got along well. She actually made English interesting so I was being a jerk anyway in my comment.
I moved to my next class where a friend of mine, Klaus, always asked what we were doing in English since he had the same class a few periods later. I was usually helpful and gave him a tip about a pop quiz or a part of a book you’d better read at lunch. But today, I said to my friend, “Hey you know what will probably make Guthrie laugh? (ohhhhh I’m a bad friend) When she asks about the protagonist’s motivation you should just say out loud, “Oh who cares?” (such a bad friend)
And he did!!!
To which Mrs. Guthrie responded, “Oh you heard about that did you? Well you can join Jim in detention after school and we’ll discuss who cares!”
So, in this instance let’s just say I wasn’t helping my friend much. Wasn’t helping him grow really.
But Mrs. Guthrie did. We dutifully went to detention and got a brief lecture, we talked with Mrs. G and we all laughed about what had happened. Okay, Mrs. Guthrie and I laughed more than Klaus did.
And my interest in English and literature and even Shakespeare grew. Who Mrs. Guthrie was and how she was with her students and her love for English nurtured that in me. I remember a few teachers from high school or a variety of reasons. But I definitely remember Mrs. Guthrie and she’s the one who grew me the most, hands down!
Who am I nurturing in life and faith?
Who are you nurturing in life and their relationship with Jesus?
Doesn’t have to be a formal official thing. But who are you able to disciple? Or think, who are you in a position to influence that way? Might even be someone you’ve never thought of before.
Think and pray about it and look for opportunities. You could change a life you never thought you would.